Taqiyah vs Kippah vs Zucchetto is actually not a debate. These are brimless religious caps worn by men of specific religious communities. They vary in many features, such as shape, material, size, and purpose of wearing. Therefore it becomes crucial to understand the differences.
The Main Difference
The most prominent difference between these three is the religious sects they belong to. These are in a way considered to be sacred and therefore worn only by the members of a particular community.
Taqiyah is the sacred cap of the Muslims and is worn by them in all their religious activities, such as the daily five-time prayers and festivals.
A kippah is the sacred cap of the Jews. The Jewish religious authorities are in debate whether to wear them all the time or only during religious activities. However, these a mandatory to be worn in religious activities such as prayers or Bar mitzvah, or funeral.
Finally, Zucchetto is a hemispherical cap worn by clergies of the Catholic Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church, among other holy places of Christianity.
Apart from this difference, several other differences are clearly visible and make them identifiable.
What Is a Taqiyah?
As mentioned before, Taqiyah is the holy cap of the Muslims. It is worn by Muslim men during religious activities and formal occasions or even casually.
These can be of many colors if worn in isolation; however, it should be white if worn under a Keffiyeh. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kept his head covered, and therefore, his followers should also follow the practice.
There are different styles and designs of the Taqiyah. One of the styles is a ‘Topi’ that is worn in many South Asian countries. In the US, it is known as ‘Kufi,’ while in Afghanistan, it is referred to as an ‘Araqchin.’
Distinctive features of a Taqiyah
Taqiyahs can be easily identified by looking at them. Some distinctive features are mentioned below:
- It is a rounded skull cap covering the skull but doesn’t fit very tightly on the head. Further, it shows a lot of hair around the forehead, ears, and the back.
- The caps can be cylindrical, hemispherical, boat-shaped, and those with a tassel or a pompom hanging from the crown’s center.
- One common feature of all these hats is that they are made from a mesh-like fabric through which some light passes. Further, they can be made of cotton, wool, or fleece fabrics, suiting the weather conditions.
What Is a Kippah?
The Kippah is a Jewish skull cap. Its literal translation from Hebrew is ‘dome,’ and therefore, it is a dome-shaped cap. In Judaism, the Kippah is a symbol of honoring God. Therefore, some Jewish authorities suggest that the Kippah should be worn all the time and not just during religious activities. However, there is a debate regarding the same within the community.
Distinctive features of a Kippah
- Most of the time, these are knitted caps made of black velvet and are more popular in Israel.
- Certain Kippahs can be worn by women too.
- Kippot have inscriptions on them; at times, it is the six-sided star symbol
- Kippahs for babies have strings attached to them for tying them around the chin
- At times, other materials such as suede, satin, buckram can also be used
Various sects within the Jewish community identify themselves to a particular kind of a Kippah.
What Is a Zucchetto?
However, Zucchetto is somewhat similar in shape and size to a propeller beanie without the fan blades. It is a Christian holy cap that fits the head well but not completely and shows a little hair all around.
The shape is very similar to the Jewish Kippah and the. It has derived its name from the round Zucchini as the vegetable’s top part is how the cap looks like. At times, it is also called the Half-pumpkin shape.
Distinctive features of a Zucchetto
- It has a thin leather lining for insulation and to keep its shape intact. These days cloth lining is more common
- There are stripes on it that divide the hat into six parts, making it look as if it is made of slices similar to a pizza or a newsboy cap
- The color of the Zucchetto represents the rank of the person wearing it. For example, the Pope wears a white Zucchetto while the Cardinals wear a Scarlet one and the Priests, a black one
- At times, it is confused with an Anglican cap; however, that is slightly larger, with a button on the crown
- Zucchetto is never worn while wearing a suit
- Zucchettos are not mass-produced. These are made by the ecclesiastical tailors and sold by the Church shops
Taqiyah vs Kippah vs Zucchetto
|Uses (for)||Religious and Casual Wear||Religious and Casual Wear||Religious Wear|
|Ideal For||Men||Unisex||Clergy Men|
|Weight||Very lightweight||Very lightweight||Very lightweight|
|Reflective Material||Non-reflective||Reflective if made from velvet or satin||Non-reflective|
|Types & Styles||Topi, Kufi, Araqchin||Crocheted, Suede, Velvet, Buckram, Yemenite||Colored based on ranks of Clergymen|
|Weather||All seasons||All seasons||All seasons|
|Availability||Easily available||Easily available||Available through Church retail|
|Prices||$4 – $45||$5 – $400||$100|
The Best Taqiyah
This is a traditional Taqiyah available in different shapes but in only two colors, black and white. It is suitable for men and is made of high-quality fabric. It is suitable for heads of a circumference of 21 to 23 inches. It is hand-knitted and very comfortable for the wearer.
It is perfect for Muslim men during prayers and also for gifting purposes. It is extremely lightweight and has a height of 3.5 inches, known as ‘Badi Deewar’ in the Urdu language spoken by many Muslims.
This is a classic boat shaped Kufi cap with a cloth spoke at the center of the crown. It is available in several different colors and is made of high-quality velvet. It is soft and comfortable to wear and is perfect for formal occasions. The cap’s rim is decorated in a mesh-like pattern to make it more attractive and make the wearer stand out from the crowd.
The Best Kippah
This is a knitted Kippah hand made from 100% cotton. It is available in many different sizes, colors, and patterns, so there is a lot of variety for the prospective wearers. And also, they fit most wearers because of the variety of sizes. As it is made of cotton, it is very comfortable to wear. It has a classy look that makes the wearer feel fashionable and pious simultaneously.
The Best Zucchetto
All three of these caps are religious caps and not fashion accessories. Therefore, they are bought mostly by the members of the community only. However, nowadays, these are also made to look fashionable and attractive for children. For example, cartoon or movie character Kippahs are very popular in the US. They are mandatory for religious activities and should be worn with respect by their respective religions’ followers.